Different modes of attendance
Events hosted exclusively online allow for attendees to participate in the comfort of their own homes. This creates a more safe, intimate, and personal experience. They provide a myriad of benefits to both attendees and event organisers. These include worldwide access, increased attendance, higher return on investment, better lead retrieval, reduced travel costs, among many others. Virtual events shifting to the forefront have allowed many to experience their perks and it has become clear that they are here to stay.
Research conducted by EventMB in 2020 revealed that 71% of event planners stated that they would continue to employ a digital strategy to maintain their virtual audience even after live events return. Furthermore, 67% of them stated that hybrid is the future of events. However, this should not be surprising as hybrid events create a unique, shared experience for both on-site and remote participants.
They give attendees the choice of whether they want to attend physically or virtually. This allows a tailored experience, customised to their preferred mode of attendance and individual schedule. Without giving up the physical component, they also harness the unique benefits that a virtual format would garner. These include increased scalability, bridging geological barriers, reduced travel cost, among others. This mode of attendance has also been gaining traction and is now more mainstream than ever before.
The interconnectedness and bridging across geological barriers enabled by virtual and hybrid events often creates the need to cater for a multilingual audience. Luckily, today adding multilingual capabilities to events is as streamlined and simple as it has ever been. Through remote interpretation solutions, event organisers can easily connect their live event with high quality interpreters, working anywhere around the globe. Interpretation is carried out live and audio is streamed back to attendees in whichever languages are required. Around the world, remote interpretation is being integrated with virtual, in-person and hybrid events, expanding their ability to cater to diverse, multilingual audiences.
A focus on safety
Given the presence of the global pandemic, increased attention is being paid to facilitating a safe and responsible in-person event experience. Safety signage has become very prominent. This includes physical distancing guides as well as encouragement to wash hands, wear masks, and stay home if feeling unwell. Sanitation resources are a must, this includes hand sanitisation stations and ensuring there is somewhere for attendees to wash their hands. Pre-entry health screenings are becoming increasingly popular to deliver an added level of safety to events. These can include thermal vision screening cameras for a contactless process of attendee temperature screening. Another popular form of pre-entry screening is check in tools. They have become unanimous among in person events due to their ability to help track and monitor spread if it does occur.
How the NSW Nurses & Midwives Association boosted engagement at their hybrid meetings with a single change.
The NSW Nurses & Midwives Association shares how a single change to the way they held their hybrid meetings greatly boosted the engagement levels of both their on-site and remote participants.
With physical distancing and airline travel still challenging, many organisations have been forced to host their meetings in a hybrid style. Hoping to improve the hybrid meeting experience for on-site and remote participants, Sandra Whitaker, IT coordinator at the NSW Nurses & Midwives Association (NMA), sought out specialist audio visual supplier Congress Rental Australia to provide a hybrid meeting solution that could boost engagement. Congress Rental assisted them by integrating an automatic camera solution with their desktop microphone system.
Before implementing the automatic camera system, the NMA used a static webcam to stream the video to Zoom. They had already implemented desktop microphones for higher audio quality. Still, they wanted a video solution that could both improve the interactivity and image quality for remote participants and integrate with their existing desktop microphone system.
“Initially, we were using a Sony Handicam plugged into a streaming device. We then added a webcam set up in the corner of the room. Although the Handicam worked well to capture the meetings chair, the webcam was far from ideal to provide remote participants with a view of the other speakers. It didn’t seem very engaging and made it difficult at times for remote delegates to identify the person speaking,” explains Whitaker. “We were looking for an improvement to our overall AV setup when we came across Congress Rental’s automatic camera solution. It immediately stood out to us as something that we needed to try.”
“Congress Rental supplied us with desktop microphones in the past and the expertise and level of service they demonstrated then made them a natural choice when we were searching for a new vision solution.” Says Whitaker. “They helped us by guiding us through all of the options available and clearly explaining the benefits and drawbacks of each one.”
Warren Williams, Manager of Administrative Services at the NMA, organised their first meeting using the solution. “Congress Rental was very good in helping us set up the solution so that it was ready for the meeting. Their technicians were very helpful and communicated really clearly to us when we had questions.” Says Williams. “The final system is excellent, and I think the meetings we hold now are more interactive and engaging for both our online and on-site delegates.”
“Sandra told us that the participants were tired of the static shot the webcams were giving them, so they were thrilled when we gave them a demo of our automatic cameras,” says Sebastian Ennis, Head of Production at Congress Rental. “Our solution integrated automatic cameras and conference microphones (referred to often as desktop microphones) to create a seamless meeting experience for both the online and on-site delegates. We’ve been using this solution for large scale meetings long before the pandemic hit, so we knew that it would be the right fit for the Nurses & Midwives Association.”
The addition of the automatic cameras allows the Nurses & Midwives Association to capture more of the feeling of being in the room. “The automatic camera was very good at solving that. When people speak into their microphones, remote participants get a clear head and shoulders view of them, accurately and reliably every time” says Williams. “I love that the camera automatically zooms to the person speaking, it’s like having a personal film crew at every meeting. It adds a level of engagement and interactivity that a static camera wouldn’t be able to.”
Read the article on CX network >
Thermal vision screening cameras are starting to see increased adoption in the events industry due to their two main functions.
Secondly, they can use cutting-edge facial recognition technology to screen for known and unknown individuals on a mass scale. This capability can be instrumental in quickly identifying individuals and verifying whether they are permitted to enter the event.
They can perform these screening capabilities at an extended range of up to 4.5 metres, and a fast rate of up to 30 people per second. This ability ensures that the implementation of this technology to an event will not cause disruption or create queues. Additionally, they are also quickly deployed, portable/mobile, and easy to operate. If the solution detects excess body temperature or recognises prohibited individuals, it provides instant safety alerts to the operator, who can quickly rectify the issue.
Sourcing and facilitating the application of this technology to your event can be difficult and require expertise. Congress Rental can provide a complete thermal imaging solution to your event including trained technicians for set-up and operation.
Congress Rental is supporting interpreters and state agencies to improve working conditions within courts across Australia.
Interpretation in courts across Australia currently takes the form of chuchotage. This is a traditional method by which the interpreter stands or sits with typically one individual and whispers simultaneous interpretation of what is currently being said. This form of interpretation is known to have many disadvantages, not least in already difficult working conditions.
With the addition of portable interpreting equipment, specifically a purpose-built whisper system, the multilingual court process is significantly improved. This small system allows the interpreter to speak into a handsfree microphone headset connected to a wireless transmitter, while any listeners use headphones plugged into a wireless receiver to hear the interpretation. The transmission is digital, meaning audio is crystal clear, interference-free and secure.
Recently, Congress Rental collaborated with Multicultural NSW to demonstrate this technology in an active trial scenario. Professor Ludmila Stern from the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales was granted access to observe the demonstration and shared the immediate benefits from using the system:
This technology has an expanding list of benefits and minimal risks. It is clear the implementation of digital whisper equipment into Australian courtrooms and a shift away from chuchotage are recognised as the required standards for court interpreting.
We would like to thank Silvia Martinez, Professor Ludmila Stern and Professor Sandra Hale from University of New South Wales, Dr Erika Gonzalez from RMIT University and Multicultural NSW for this joint effort to improve working conditions of court interpreters across Australia.
Virtual events have gained tremendous prominence over the last few years and this trajectory was rapidly propelled by the global pandemic. Now that many have experienced the powerful potential that virtual events offer, this trend is projected to continue into the future. Whether hosting a short half-hour webinar or a large multi-day virtual summit, it is crucial that virtual events are unique, engaging and interactive for your audience.
Here are 5 key mistakes that can get in the way of a smooth, successful and memorable virtual event experience.
Your audience attends your virtual event to gain value, be entertained and interact in a two-way cocreated experience. One of the biggest mistakes event organisers make is delivering content to the audience through a dull, one-way live stream. This will almost guarantee lower audience engagement and retention. Instead, employ technology to enable your audience to directly contribute to the event, make the event dynamic and always bring the focus back to the audience.
The modern audience is time-poor and has a shortening attention span due to an increased number of online distractions. When considering audience engagement and retention, it certainly pays to be succinct. Deliver the information your audience needs in a concise manner, respecting the valuable time they have taken out of their day to participate in your virtual event. Produce insightful and valuable experiences while omitting any unnecessary information.
Connection issues, glitches, and other unplanned interruptions can quickly derail a virtual event and make it hard to regain previous momentum. To avoid this occurring, make sure you have a reliable internet connection, prepare redundancies and have a trained technical team on standby to mitigate any potential problems that may arise.
Your audience are likely to have a busy schedule and may require different modes of participation over the course of your event. Making the event’s schedule flexible and tailored to your audience’s needs can increase engagement. You can make the schedule public, break down the larger event into smaller segments, make the segments available for playback if audience cannot attend them live, among many others.
Just because the event is virtual does not mean it should lack in preparation, production or quality. Prepare speeches, simulate audience interaction sessions, test connections and infrastructure, practice responses to unplanned interruptions and ultimately ensure a smooth and well-practiced execution of your event.
Avoiding these 5 key mistakes will give you the best chance at hosting a memorable, smooth, unique and ultimately successful virtual event. To make sure that you avoid these mistakes it is best to hire a professional team with the right knowledge and expertise.
Congress Rental can provide a comprehensive virtual event solution including:
Congress Rental Australia wants feedback from interpreters worldwide to help them make a positive change in the Remote Simultaneous Interpretation platform industry.
The survey will ask interpreters questions about their use of Remote Interpretation Platforms, how RSI has changed the way they offer their interpretation services, and what they think would improve the RSI experience for interpreters. All participants will get a copy of the report, with insights into how RSI has changed the conference interpretation industry.
Congress Rental Australia is part of the global Congress Rental Network, and for over 20 years, they have been setting the standard in Australia for Simultaneous Interpretation solutions. Now, they continue to do so globally for RSI. Managing Director Jeremy Ducklin is a member of the ISO committee for RSI (ISO/DIS 24019 – Simultaneous Interpreting delivery platforms – Requirements & Recommendations). Any feedback interpreters submit will contribute to shaping the future of RSI for Interpreters.
Submissions close on Monday the 5th of April, and the report will be released shortly thereafter to all participants. Click on the link below to have your say and make an impact on the future of RSI.
What is remote simultaneous interpretation?
Adding any language to your virtual event has never been as streamlined as it is today. Remote simultaneous interpretation is a solution that merges delegates, professional interpreters, presenters, expert technicians, cutting-edge interpretation equipment, and the platform of your choice. The result is an incredibly refined experience that adds any language to your event in real-time.
But I already have a platform that I want to use for my event
You may already have plans to use a traditional video conferencing platform such as Zoom to host your virtual event or meeting, and want to integrate languages into it. This is where a professional language integrations team can help you take the difficulty out of adding languages to your chosen platform.
A language integrations team will help you conquer the challenging aspects of language integrations including:
Hiring an experienced team allows you to focus on hosting stunning multilingual virtual events.
Let's consider how your Zoom meeting could benefit from a Congress Rental professional RSI solution.
Using a professional RSI solution, your event can employ a range of languages and expand its audience while maintaining your original message's accuracy and reliability. With over 20 years of excellence in language solutions, Congress Rental can provide you with a premium end-to-end RSI solution tailored to your event. Talk to one of our producers about what languages you would like to add and get started with your event today.
What are the benefits of hosting a hybrid event?
What are the risks of hosting a hybrid event?
With the increased functionality due to the online component there is an inherent risk of technical challenges. To mitigate this risk the production team must source a strong internet connection and supply live support to deploy solutions to potential technical challenges quickly. With a partner equipped to handle the potential challenges, the benefits far outweigh its risks and afford considerable opportunity to provide an enhanced experience to a larger audience.
Are hybrid events here to stay?
Finding a hybrid event partner that can cater to your specific needs can be arduous. Congress Rental can determine your specific needs and develop a custom tailored, comprehensive solution for your hybrid event. We make the experience for your remote audience more immersive using our PTZ cameras, conference microphones, monitors, and lighting. If you are in need of a hybrid event solution, reach out to one of our producers.
In 2020, a previously underused technology, Remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI), became the primary method of delivering simultaneous interpretation at meetings and events. With 2021 now underway, markets worldwide are beginning the steps to recovery. However, it remains unclear whether RSI will continue to replace on-site interpretation at meetings and events.
Even when international events eventually return, there is no guarantee that on-site interpretation will. Historically, organisers have dismissed RSI as an unreliable alternative to on-site interpretation. Now that they've seen it in action, it's likely that doubts about RSI's reliability have lessened. With the cost-savings on interpreter travel and accommodation, it's clear that most organisations will seriously consider RSI for future events moving forward.
Does that mean working from home is the 'new normal' for interpreters? Not exactly. Sebastian Ennis, Head of Production at Congress Rental, thinks that interpretation hubs are going to be the way forward:
"We've done quite a few projects using interpretation hubs this year, and the feedback we get from both interpreters and our clients is better than when interpreters are working from home."
Interpreters can also expect a small range of events and meetings to return to on-site interpretation. Jeremy predicts that mission-critical government meetings will be one of them:
"Government meetings have to be done live with on-site interpreters. You have the main meetings that people see on the news, but the smaller secondary meetings that people don't see are just as important. These meetings are difficult to replicate through online platforms. You don't get the same level of flexibility."
Although it's quite challenging to predict the exact proportion of projects which will return to on-site interpretation, it's safe to say that Interpreters will have to get comfortable with RSI, as it's here to stay.
Virtual and hybrid events give businesses a way to connect to their target audience without needing to travel. They’re often cheaper, more efficient, and more scalable than in-person events. However, the process isn't as simple as taking an on-site event and then streaming it. There are several things that you must consider to get the most out of your online event. Neglecting to consider or plan for these points will result in a low return on investment and could even leave a negative impression on the participants. We've compiled a list of things to do which will help you create a memorable virtual experience for everyone involved:
During The Event